Office use has never changed as fast as now. Offices went from full to empty overnight, and now some people are contemplating a return to the office. But for most, it won’t be the same environment as it was.
Previously, in the old world, “noise” in open plan offices was typically among the main issues of complaints. As acousticians we can help enable workplaces to meet the operational and wellbeing needs of the people who work there, so that they can function effectively. But the guidance on how to do this has been emerging in different forms across the world over recent years.
This presentation will look at the guidance in established International Standards (ISO 3382-3). The forthcoming ISO/DIS 22955, due for publication in autumn 2020, is entitled “Acoustic quality of open office spaces”. This new standard uses and references an approach for acoustic design that incorporates the multi-award winning Apex Method for acoustic design in activity-based working offices.
The new methods show how we can go beyond simply considering the acoustic conditions in the empty room, and start thinking about the people, their activities and acoustic needs, and the acoustic environment. This is an exciting and fast-changing time for acoustic design. Our current circumstances offer and necessitate an opportunity to rethink how we use offices. How can we make the most of this opportunity to help create better conditions for office workers?
Jack Harvie-Clark, Apex Acoustics
Jack Harvie-Clark is the founder of Apex Acoustics, an industry-leading and multi-award-winning acoustics consultancy. With over 20 acoustics consultants, we provide design and testing services for the built environment across the UK. We regularly present our research at national and international conferences, as well as in scientific journals. Our new acoustic design method for open plan offices received two awards in 2019. Jack sits on the International Standards (ISO) Committee for the forthcoming ISO 22955: Acoustic Quality of Open Office Spaces. and is a WELL™ Sound Concept Advisor. He is a past Chair of the Association of Noise Consultants and continues to chair the Association’s Good Practice Committee.